Sunday, September 19, 2010
Quinoa Chocolate Cake
I saw this recipe in a local paper a few weeks paper and it looked interesting. Noone in our family is gluten intolerant so I rarely make gluten free desserts. But the creators of this recipe, Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming, insist noone will guess this is made with quinoa. I'm always up for a challenge so let's find out if it's true!
Recipe adapted from Quinoa 365 (Whitecap, 2010), Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is often mistakenly believed to be a grain. In fact, it's the fruit of a broadleaf plant meaning it's in the same family as spinach and beets! According to Wikipedia, it originated in the Andean region of South America, where it has been an important food for over 6,000 years.
Did you Know?
- A complete protein
- Contains all eight essential amino acids
- Rich in vitamins E, B2 and B6, folic acid, biotin, calcium, potassium, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese and chloride
Makes two 8-inch round cakes.
2/3 cup quinoa
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 packet or teaspoon of Starbucks Via instant coffee (optional)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
What to do:
Bring the water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the stove for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with a piece of parchment paper or grease and flour it.
Combine the eggs, milk and vanilla in a blender. Add 2 cups of cooked quinoa and the butter and continue to blend until smooth.
Combine the sugar, cocoa, coffee, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the wet mixture and combine well. Divide the batter into the 2 pans and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Switch pans half way through time to ensure even baking.
Cool completely. Enjoy!
Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week or freeze for up to a month.
Verdict: Well, the cake is good, really good...but (there's always a but) I'm not sure everyone who tastes it would think it's a regular flour cake. They may not know it's quinoa (which is technically what the authors said) but there was a slightly crunchy texture to the cake on the day it was baked. However, by day three the quinoa had definitely softened and tasted much closer in everyway to a regular flour cake.
Overall, the cake is delicious and I will make it again and DEFINITELY make it for anyone who can't tolerate flour.
PS - perhaps if I had blended the quinoa mixture more before baking or hadn't let it cool in the fridge for a few hours before making the recipe the exture would have been different. I'll let you know if the results are different next time I bake it.
pps I added the instant coffee to bump up the chocolate but it was not in the original recipe!